DOVER — As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety is hosting a free event to make sure children are safely secured in their car seats and booster seats, and caregivers have the confidence to install those seats independently.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. A child is involved in a crash while riding in a passenger vehicle, on average, every 25 seconds.
Car seats save lives, but they need to be used correctly. When installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.
But according to the NHTSA, while most caregivers are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, almost half have been installed incorrectly. Here in Delaware, four out of five child safety seats are not installed correctly.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, local caregivers are invited to stop by Christiana Hospital’s Newark Campus for free Seat Check Saturday event.
From 9 to 11 a.m., certified child passenger safety technicians will help families correctly install car seats and booster seats. The technicians will also help register attendee’s child safety seats, and check if the seats have been part of a recall or if they have expired.
If caregivers are unable to come to this event, they can schedule a one-on-one in-person or virtual seat check.
“We know the list of things that parents do out of love for their children is long. Adding car seat safety to that list is essential to a child’s well-being,” Kimberly Chesser, director for Delaware Office of Highway Safety, said in a prepared statement. “During Child Passenger Safety Week in September, I encourage all parents and caregivers to take advantage of the free, online material that can be used to make sure children are in the right car seats for their ages and sizes, and that the seats are installed correctly. But our commitment to child passenger safety extends well beyond September. Our certified child passenger safety technicians are available for in-person or virtual seat checks year-round as well.”
“Children grow quickly, parents and caregivers should re-evaluate their car seats and booster seats routinely,” Ms. Chesser continued. “Take some time to take a second look at your car seats and booster seats. Make sure these car seats fit your children appropriately, and that they are correctly installed in your vehicle.”